Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The End Of Milo Yiannopoulos

I probably shouldn't even bother with this one; Milo Yiannopoulos has finally supplied the rope for his own hanging, which in the end was unsurprising. It's unlikely I will get everything right about this story, filled as it is with lurid but stupid details, ones that in the end are deeply boring, precisely because Milo is at heart a troll. Whatever it is, he's throwing bombs for public attention, never more so than with his "daddy Trump" nonsense during the late election cycle. It was inevitable that one of those bombs would detonate on the maker.
Yiannopoulos, who was recently credentialed for a White House presidential briefing, once penned a Breitbart column to blame the left for defending pedophilia. Now, this newly released audio reveals him endorsing the practice (and praising priests who molest underage boys). In the clip, he describes a disturbing scenario, which prompts an unnamed person to remark, “It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.”

He receives this response from Yiannopoulos: “But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.” Here’s more of what he said about pedophilia:
“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults … In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents.”
 His response to this own goal error was at first to declare it a "witch hunt", adding an unhelpful non-clarification addressing anyone who found his earlier remarks distressing as "A note to idiots". This raised a lot of irrelevancies, did nothing to dispel his earlier remarks, and smeared anyone who might reasonably find in his comments support for pederasty. It's a poor workman who blames his tools, and Yiannopoulos' refusal to acknowledge his own failings was a huge missed opportunity. It might be his last. Having lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster, he's also had to resign from Breitbart amid stories circulating that other staffers would resign en masse if he didn't.

There are kinder takes on Yiannoupoulos, for instance this unsigned piece on Rare ("The Internet bully is himself a victim; perhaps the two are related"), or this essay from Current Affairs which treats his remarks about sexual contact with an older man in the context of historical gay man/young teen sex:
Yiannopoulos may not have made his point very well. But there’s something nuanced and defensible here. First, he’s saying that the relationships between gay men and teenage boys (according to their own accounts) have historically been messier than simple categories allow for. And second, it’s absurd to say that he can’t make dark or crass jokes about his priest if it’s his way of dealing with what happened to him.
One might agree with that if he were a better communicator. To accept that, you have to excuse his lack of clarity: which is it? Was his giving head to a priest at 13 a terrible thing? Or was it good in hindsight? We still don't know, and we have Milo the bomb-thrower's imprecision to thank for it. Ultimately, the problem with Yiannopoulos is he stands for nothing, only in opposition, i.e. he is largely if not entirely a reactionary.

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